Monday, June 27, 2016

Vacation, Day 4 Michigan, The Beach

My Happy Place.  
On our last full day, it was cloudy and a little rainy early in the morning, but stopped raining by 9.  We hung out at home, working on the puzzle, and had lunch of Leftovers a little on the early side and then we decided we were going to Play before naps.

After Naps, we decided to head into town.  As we were headed out, the clouds parted, so we postponed our visit Just long enough to dip our tootsies in the water.  It was chilly, but gorgeous.

Our post-lunch Dessert Destination!  
Just listen to the words:  Free Chocolate Tours.  

Here's what Jacob and I think of the concept of free chocolate.
We love it. 

All 5 of the kids watching Chocolates being made.  
It's not a big operation, basically two large rooms, but we watched them through the window as they dipped and created some champagne truffles, and prepared some almond toffee. 

The rainbow crew as we get ready to actually go into the prep room. 
We didn't plan the rainbow theme, the boys and I had dressed in Superhero shirts, we'd just happened to get everyone all sat down and dressed to get booties and hats on when our tour guide offered to take our picture.  There were a couple other folks in our group tour, but mostly, we were it.  And truly, our kids in hairnets and booties was the most hysterical thing ever.  Chris and Jacob were trying to skate across the floor.  Didn't work too well for Jake, if I hadn't held his wrist for dear life, he'd have been falling all over the place.  

Tuttles (they don't call them turtles) ready to be cut and boxed up.  

The Toffee. 
Duuude. Check that out.
So yummy! 

Dipped marshmallows.

The best part of the Chocolate Tour - free samples at the end! 

They gave us samples of nutty fudge things, and we had to sit down to let the kids eat it.  This was one of two places to sit in the whole shop, and it was still within view of the factory.  

In other news, during morning, lunch, naptime and after, we Finally finished the Lip Balm puzzle.

Pickle Lip Balm, what will they think of next?!

After naps, we decided to go to the Beach.  The rain had dried off, the sun was shining, and it was downright gorgeous outside, finally good enough weather to go to the water.  75 is great, downright balmy for up here! 

Three sweetboys take off with pool noodles to the beach. 

Frankly, I was enchanted by the way Jacob took off after his brothers.  I knew he wouldn't go too deep into the water, and even if he tried, it was going to be chilly.  

Near our spot on the beach, a bunch of seagulls had staked out.  
To make the boys laugh, I began to tiptoe toward them. 

Nothing like taking revenge against a pack of seagulls.  

Jacob got down to business playing in the sand with his cousin Charlie.  
Charlie was sporting the mermaid swimsuit we picked out for her for her birthday.   
I love how she loved it! 

Sam rushes into the water. 
Surprise!  It's cold! 

Christopher was very upset by how cold the water was.  
He'd had visions of playing in it, and swimming underwater is his favorite.  Chris is also very sensitive to cold.  Ice cream is generally not his favorite, until it achieves a certain level of soupiness, which is often to my benefit.   But he doesn't do well in extreme hot or cold, because of his sensitivities.  I had to talk him down, he went from this to full meltdown when he realized it was too cold to swim.  I was like, Babe, it was 57 two days ago.  This lake Freezes in winter.  It takes a while to recover from that, and even longer for it to warm up.  And this is a lake people can swim in, no one can swim in Lake Superior. 

We opted to explore instead, and found this cool deer hoofprint. 

I had brought new pool noodles for all the kids, as a treat, for the trip. 

All 5 of them on the beach armed with pool noodles was a pretty awesome sight.

  So our adventure became, pool noodle time on the beach, instead of swimming.  

I like exploring the area around the beach too. 
My Mom loves birch trees, or maybe they are aspens, I'm not sure.  Probably aspens. 
But she has a few paintings of them in her home, and now I find my eyes catching on them every time I see them.  That white bark stands out.  Michigan is full of them.  It's probably a Quaking Aspen, it did look particularly beautiful in the breeze. 

On little Traverse Bay, there is a creek.  We used to play in it when I was there, younger, about 15 years ago.  There's a spring that also feeds into this area, causing sinkholes in that creek, where all three meet the Little Traverse Bay.  The sinkholes would suck our legs in up to our knees.  I remember walking along here with Aunt Debbie, and she dared to step in, got sucked in down her thigh.  Then we all had to try it.  Pants were wet, tears of laughter were falling.  It was Awesome.  Oh it was So Funny.  I still smile thinking of it.  But I didn't let my kids go any deeper than an ankle.  

I got a closeup of the sand in the creek as the crystal clear water was running over. 
My that water was cold, coming up from an underground spring. 

On the bridge.  
I have a picture around here somewhere, of Eric and I on the bridge, from way back before we had kids, when my sis was working on a Black and White photography project for summer school.  She took a lot of great photos that trip.  They're around here somewhere.   These were just with my phone.  

My camera gave out while we were at the beach, a combo of errors.  On Mackinac the batter died, I had the replacement at the condo.  This time, it was a small photo card. I still was able to get a few good pics of our beach and creek time before the card filled up.    

These boys are enchanting! 

This was taken with my new cell phone though, and I was able to play around with filters on it.  

This ending up being my Favorite of the whole bridge series.   

Meanwhile back on the beach, the girls talked Aunt Lisa into the water.  
They had found something in another creek that fed into the bay.

Annie and Charlie found tadpoles!  
They found they could catch them in seashells. 

Aunt Lisa looked so pretty helping her girls find tadpoles.  
Another favorite.  

Fudge Break! 

Her hat cracks me up.  Turns out it was one of the girls, from their day camp that happened to be in the car when she came north.   Looks kind of perfect for us old ladies, fuddy duddies sitting by the lakeshore eating fudge. That's a good way to go. 

Next thing we know, all 5 kids are hunting tadpoles in the creek.  
This creek's water was significantly warmer than the bay or the sinkhole creek.   A little mossy, but we didn't care, the kids were happy, and not drowning.  

Meanwhile, a hummingbird moth came around to entertain us.  

The sun was shining, and it was a good day.  

Jacob was an entirely different kind of entertainment.  

That's my baby.  He got a Rock.  

Then of course, he had to share his rock with his brothers and cousins. 
He went charging down to the creek, yelling "TABO!"  for tadpole, going on a hunt just like the big kids.  He thinks he is one of the big kids. 

At last, it was time to head out.  The kids got a big kick out of the foot washing station.  I wish we'd had one of these at our condo, like we did at the lake in Wisconsin.  Next time, if there is a next time, I'm bringing a foot bucket for the door to the condo!  

Before we knew it, a few of us were starting to get hungry for dinner.  Being that it was our last night, I wanted some good fish.  Lisa had seen a sign for a Mediterranean place, that served Fresh Fried Lake Perch on Thursday nights.  Blammo!  However, by the time we got there, just before 8, when you'd think the dinner rush would be over, there were no seats to be found.  So, the two cars loaded back up with food, with literally a little of everything, and headed back to the condo, and ate on the deck outside.  Turns out that was the best plan, because the kids ate, then went and played, allowing us to finish our food nice and quietly outdoors.  Oy.  

And back we go for a bedtime show.